Getting Started with mod_perl in 30 Minutes Page 4

Configure Apache as you always do. Set Port, User, Group, ErrorLog and other directives in the httpd.conf file (remember I've asked you to remember the location of this file at the end of the previous section?). Use the defaults as suggested, customize only when you have to. Values that you need to customize are ServerName, Port, User, Group, ServerAdmin, DocumentRoot and a few others. You will find helpful hints preceding each directive. Follow them if in doubt.

When you have edited the configuration file, it's time to start the server. One of the ways to start and stop the server is to use the apachectl utility. You start the server with:

  % /usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl start

And stop it with:

  % /usr/local/apache/bin/apachectl stop

Note that you have to be root when starting the server if the server is going to listen on port 80 or another privileged port (<1024).

After you start the server, check in the error_log file (/usr/local/apache/logs/error_log is the file's default location) that the server has indeed started. Don't rely on the status apachectl reports. You should see something like the following:

  [Thu Jun 22 17:14:07 2000] [notice] Apache/1.3.12 (Unix) 
  mod_perl/1.24 configured -- resuming normal operations

Now point your browser to http://localhost/ or http://your.server.name/ as configured with the ServerName directive. If you have set a Port directive with a value different from 80, apply this port number at the end of the server name. If you have used port 8080, test the server with http://localhost:8080/ or http://your.server.name:8080/ . You should see the infamous "It worked" page, which is an index.html file that make install in the Apache source tree installs for you. If you don't see this page, something went wrong and you should check the contents of the error_log file. You will find the path of the error log file by looking it up in the ErrorLog directive in httpd.conf.

If everything works as expected, shut the server down, open httpd.conf in your favorite editor, and scroll to the end of the file where we will add the mod_perl configuration directives (of course you can place them anywhere in the file).

Assuming that you put all scripts that should be executed by the mod_perl enabled server in the /home/httpd/perl/ directory, add the following configuration directives:

  Alias /perl/ /home/httpd/perl/
  PerlModule Apache::Registry
  <Location /perl>

    SetHandler perl-script
    PerlHandler Apache::Registry
    Options ExecCGI
    PerlSendHeader On
    allow from all

Save the modified file.

This configuration causes every URI starting with /perl to be handled by the Apache mod_perl module. It will use the handler from the Perl module Apache::Registry.

Preparing the Scripts Directory

Now create a /home/httpd/perl/ directory if it doesn't yet exist. In order for you and Apache to be able to read, write and execute files we have to set correct permissions. You could get away by simply doing:

  % chmod 0777  /home/httpd/perl

This article was originally published on Jun 23, 2000

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